How to know if your bounce rate is too high? How to lower it?

18 Mar, 2023

1 min

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What’s the difference between you and your homepage? Give in? 
Unlike your homepage, people don’t leave you within 3 seconds (and that’s a good start!). No one likes to be left alone. No one, including your website pages. 

Why do users stay on your pages for a while? Why don’t they click on your shining CTAs? On your pink banner of subscriptions (maybe because it’s pink)?  If your bounce rate goes over 85%, it may be time to do something. 

Today, we’ll learn how the bounce rate is calculated and when it’s considered high. We’ll see why it can damage your SEO and how to lower it! Ready to take the plunge?

bounce rate: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Appealing headlines vs deceptive content

If you read our blog post on clickbaits pitfalls, you may know that writing appealing headlines isn’t enough

Why? People will click on your page (great!) but leave your website after a few seconds since you won’t be delivering the value they seek (not that great). Well, the understanding of bounce rates will help you get this point across. 

Your website bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your page without clicking on anything or left within 3 seconds. 

How is it calculated? 

Now that you know how it works, you may be interested in learning more about how you calculate it. It’s easy: 

website bounce rate = single-page sessions/ total sessions

Single-page sessions: when people land on your page and exit without triggering any request. 

An optimal bounce rate ranges between 26% and 40%, but the average bounce rate stands between 41% and 55%. 

The bad and ugly high bounce rate

What is considered a “high” bounce rate?

Depending on your industry, your type of page (landing page, single page…), it won’t be the same! Note that: if your bounce rate ranges between 70% and 85% you’re in the red. If your bounce rate is above 85%, you have to make a change: too many people are leaving too soon. 

How to interpret this figure? It means that more than 85 people out of 100 who visited your website left either after 3 seconds or without clicking on your pageBut is a high bounce rate (really) a bad thing? Well, most of the time, it will affect your SEO ranking the wrong way.   

Yet, you should note that a high bounce rate can be perfectly fine on a single-page site as visitors will easily find the information they are seeking. 

Why is your bounce rate that high? 

That’s what you want to know! Let’s skip the fact that your content may be uninteresting (we know it’s not!). Here are the 3 main reasons why your bounce rate is that high:

#1 - Your page load is too slow!

According to Semrush, you should aim for a 1-2 seconds page load time. Let’s get into more details. One of the 3 Core web vitals you should start monitoring is the Largest Contentful Paint. It’s a Google metric that helps you analyze your page loading time. What’s the impact of your loading time on the bounce rate? According to Google, if your load time goes from: 

  • 1s to 3s, the probability of bounce increases by 32%
  • 3s to 5s, the probability of bounce increases by 90%
  • 5s to 10s, it increases by 123%. 

#2 - There has been a website error WHEN THEY TRIED TO OPEN YOUR PAGE

“Error 404”, “this page isn’t working”, “site not found”.
That’s not all! People won’t stay long on your page if images don’t load. It can be because your photos are too heavy, you filled the wrong image name or you mistook the picture’s name. 

#3 - Your website UX is poor 

Not only does the web design count… 94% of first impressions rely on your site web’s design, but the UX is at least as important with 89% of consumers who say that they would switch brands after a poor user experience. What does it mean? 

  • It isn’t mobile-friendly (too lengthy, pictures too big…)
  • The navigation isn’t intuitive (your visitors don’t know where to click so they leave)
Your design is messy (no contrast, hard to read, unpleasant colors…)

3 solutions to lower your bounce rate

Appeal to the right visitors

Would a butcher lose time selling meat to a vegetarian? Make sure you’re speaking to the right audience

  • Monitor your audience
  • Create various landing pages that correspond to your buyer personas
  • Optimize your meta descriptions to make sure people come to your page for the right reason
  • Improve your targeting!


Listen to your visitors' expectations

It could be done by prioritizing the user experience: lower your page loading time, make your navigation more fluid, make sure your images can load…
Want to discover the 20 best customer experience metrics? Forbes had it done for you

Run tests and optimize! 

Make small changes in your copywriting to see if it helps your audience better understand the value of your page.
Note that every change you make has an impact on your bounce rate: location of CTA, headline size, wording but also font or background color.

Use bounce rate with a pinch

If monitoring your bounce rate is essential to see whether or not your visitors trigger an action on your page (like clicking on a CTA), you should know that:  

  • It doesn’t take into account the fact that customers stay on your page to seek inspiration or learn things (without clicking).

  • It doesn’t give much information about how your page is performing.

Do you use it to monitor your bounce rate? Would like to talk about the essential metrics we advise our clients to track? To discover more tricks, contact us!

By Emma Jeanpierre

20 Jan, 2022